The weekend starts here for the footballing fraternity who embark on a frantic Friday of Cusack and Garry Cup action.
The opening round didn’t exactly go according to script so it’s probably best to expect the unexpected once more.
Consequently tasked with the futile exercise of predicting those second round winners is Eoin Brennan.
Cusack Cup Round 2
Éire Óg v Kilmurry Ibrickane
at Éire Óg, Friday, 7.30pm
Normally a box office annual meeting, neither a full complement of supporters or players will be present in Ennis on Friday evening.
Without county players in both codes, inevitably Éire Óg and Kilmurry Ibrickane lost their opening ties albeit that the Townies will be much the happier in defeat due to a battling display against Ennistymon which was in doubt right up until the final whistle.
In Pairc Naomh Mhuire however, the final whistle couldn’t come soon enough in a derby demolition at the hands of their nearest neighbours St Joseph’s Miltown.
It is a golden opportunity for fringe and fresher players to make their mark, with home advantage perhaps to count on this occasion.
St Breckan’s v Doonbeg
at Lisdoonvarna, Friday, 7.30pm
Without crossing swords too often, St Breckan’s have managed to leapfrog Doonbeg in the Clare football pecking order and that upward development path doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon.
Their sizeable county continents at all level denotes that trend and following an opening draw against Clondegad, the Lisdoonvarna side will be eager to impress in their first home match of 2021 which bears an extra significance in that it’s the club’s golden anniversary.
The thing is that Doonbeg crave a result even more after a lacklustre start against Kildysart but while the Magpies will come out fighting, they may not have the firepower to eke out a result.
St Joseph’s Miltown v Ennistymon
at Miltown, Friday, 6.45pm
While Éire Óg and Kilmurry Ibrickane attempt to pick up the pieces this weekend, their first round victors also clash this weekend.
Of course, it’s a repeat of the 2018 county final that saw Miltown claim the local bragging rights but this is only the second competitive clash since after Ennistymon won out in the 2019 Cusack Cup.
The manner of Miltown’s first derby duel, a 20 point lowering of the ‘Bricks suggests that confidence certainly won’t be an issue and with the bonus of home advantage, it could be enough to maintain St Joseph’s perfect start.
Kildysart v Clondegad
at Kildysart, Friday, 7.30pm
A rare Estuary derby for their flagship teams at least as one might have to go back eight years to their last league meeting. However, with Kildysart finally back in the top tier, they will be motivated to add to their opening victory over Doonbeg with their biggest scalp to date at home on Friday evening.
Clondegad themselves had an encouraging first round draw with St Breckan’s but can expect their hosts to throw everything at them in what will be a good benchmark of their resolve.
Garry Cup Round 2
Having clashed for the first time at senior championship level last summer, neighbours Lissycasey and Kilmihil renew acquaintances once more, albeit that this time Lissycasey have home advantage and a win already under their belts.
Intermediate champions St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield face their first senior side this Friday as they look to double the dose over Cooraclare who previously lost to beaten intermediate finalists Corofin in the opening round.
In an all-intermediate match-up, Corofin host Shannon Gaels while fellow second tier championship contenders O’Curry’s will be gunning to take a second senior scalp, this time against West Clare neighbours Kilrush Shamrocks.